Voestalpine Expands Operations in Automotive Segment
The Austrian steel company presents high-strength steel innovation for cars. CEO Eder expects to double sales in the automotive division.
voestalpine will present a special lightweight construction of car body panels at the Geneva Motor Show. voestalpine is the only manufacturer able to produce phs-ultraform components using both the indirect and direct process – a newly added capability. An entire industry is showing intense interest, the company says in a statement.
With phs-ultraform components, voestalpine combines the advantages of high-strength yet lightweight components with the proven corrosion protection of galvanized steel strip. The groundbreaking solution sets completely new standards in automotive construction for safety-relevant components subject to heavy corrosion. Premium carmakers use phs-ultraform for longitudinal members, A and B pillars, side and front walls, sills, doors and hatches. The technology contributes greatly to reducing fuel consumption while significantly enhancing occupant safety. With phs-ultraform, steel is consolidating its position as a leading material in the field of mobility, particularly in the automotive industry, and is a very successful alternative to aluminum and carbon.
“Thanks to new materials such as phs-ultraform, we have managed to create car components with totally unique properties. And we have only just begun to develop this new product family,” says Wolfgang Eder, Chairman of the Management Board of voestalpine AG, summing up the company’s technological lead. The highly demanding automotive components are produced and processed on four continents. “I expect us to double the turnover of 1.1 billion euros in the automotive sector over the next few years,” says Eder. To develop the phs-ultraform components, € 30m were invested up to 2008 alone, and now a further € 100m will be added to this figure. The research budget for the current fiscal year amounts to € 121m; a total of 670 researchers work for the voestalpine Group throughout the world.